'New probe' into school asbestos

The former Warwick School for Boys site in Brooke Road.

The former Warwick School for Boys site in Brooke Road.

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

AN investigation is to be launched into whether children were exposed to asbestos at a school, it is claimed.

Three classes and 18 staff at St Mary's Church of England Primary in The Drive, Walthamstow, moved to the former Warwick School site in Brooke Road in September 2011, before the toxic fibre was discovered there during the summer holidays.

The council has always insisted that the asbestos was disturbed during building works when no pupils were at the site, meaning it is extremely unlikely they were exposed.

But a report into the affair found there was a "high probability" that construction workers were exposed to the deadly fibre.

According to campaigners, the council promised to hold a new investigation during a recent meeting with families.

Parent Eleanor Knott wrote on a blog that the authority expected findings to be published in January next year.

Construction work was carried out during both the Easter holidays in April 2012 and July 2012, but the asbestos was only identified in the summer.

She wrote: "The previous report...implied that demolition workers had been exposed but not children, but this was based on samples taken in July 2012, not before then."

All classes at St Mary's were due to move to Brooke Road this September as part of a £3 million scheme to expand and treble its intake, but that was postponed following the asbestos discovery.

Children are now either being sent to the former Edinburgh School or staying at The Drive site.

A copy of an initial August 2012 report into asbestos at the school reveals a refurbishment and demolition research by Redhill in 2011 warned that further investigation may be required to check for asbestos.

But it adds that it is "unknown whether this report was read in its entirety".

It also states that some school staff and cleaners may also have been exposed to small amounts of asbestos, but said they are unlikely to be at any substantial risk.

The council has described the report, by Airborne Environmental Consultants Ltd on behalf of NPS London, as independent, but NPS is part-owned by the council.

Cabinet member for the economy, Cllr Mark Rusling, is listed as a current director, as is council chief executive Martin Esom.

Former directors include council leader Cllr Chris Robbins, Cllr Afzal Akram and Cllr Terry Wheeler, along with former council chief executive Andrew Kilburn.

Waltham Forest Council owns a 20 per cent stake in the firm.

The Guardian is awaiting a comment from the council.

Comments (21)

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12:41pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Tom Thumb says...

The NPS website states that "Our joint venture partnerships are unique in setup and governance, providing our partners with real long term influence, engagement and rewards with minimal risk."

At least two questions arise from this bland statement. What financial or other material rewards, if any, are officers, former officers, and councillors from Waltham Forest receiving for their involvement?

What risks have been incurred by local council tax payers?

Time for some Freedom of Information requests, methinks.
The NPS website states that "Our joint venture partnerships are unique in setup and governance, providing our partners with real long term influence, engagement and rewards with minimal risk." At least two questions arise from this bland statement. What financial or other material rewards, if any, are officers, former officers, and councillors from Waltham Forest receiving for their involvement? What risks have been incurred by local council tax payers? Time for some Freedom of Information requests, methinks. Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Don't Give Up says...

May I suggest the parents of all the children attending the school, the teachers, school staff and cleaners ask the council to instruct their liability insurers of the circumstances surrounding this situation and confirm they have done so in writing. I say this because the consequences of exposure to asbestos dust and fibres may take many years to take full affect. At least this will establish a proven record of what has transpired for all to see in the years ahead.
I also recommend the council is asked for the identity of who the 'new investigation" will be undertaken by that is due to be completed by January 2013.
May I suggest the parents of all the children attending the school, the teachers, school staff and cleaners ask the council to instruct their liability insurers of the circumstances surrounding this situation and confirm they have done so in writing. I say this because the consequences of exposure to asbestos dust and fibres may take many years to take full affect. At least this will establish a proven record of what has transpired for all to see in the years ahead. I also recommend the council is asked for the identity of who the 'new investigation" will be undertaken by that is due to be completed by January 2013. Don't Give Up
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Helen, Walthamstow says...

NPS is part of the problem.

The initials stand for Norfolk Property Services. The reason the council has a share in it is that it "outsourced" its entire surveying and project management service to NPS some years ago. In the wake of recession, it now has very few permanent staff in Waltham Forest and has to bring people in (consultants etc). The quality of people working in and for schools here has always been variable. A small number are good.

Ask any school head or governing body what they think of NPS and you will get some dusty answers.
NPS is part of the problem. The initials stand for Norfolk Property Services. The reason the council has a share in it is that it "outsourced" its entire surveying and project management service to NPS some years ago. In the wake of recession, it now has very few permanent staff in Waltham Forest and has to bring people in (consultants etc). The quality of people working in and for schools here has always been variable. A small number are good. Ask any school head or governing body what they think of NPS and you will get some dusty answers. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
Not a problem unless disturbed to become airborne.

Usual over-reaction from compensation seekers fuelled by No Wins No fees Lawyers.

One would have to close most pre-70's Public Buildings.
Keep your nose out of a matter you have no knowledge of or understanding about.

There is a lot more to come out than has been published so far.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: Not a problem unless disturbed to become airborne. Usual over-reaction from compensation seekers fuelled by No Wins No fees Lawyers. One would have to close most pre-70's Public Buildings.[/p][/quote]Keep your nose out of a matter you have no knowledge of or understanding about. There is a lot more to come out than has been published so far. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
Cornbeefur wrote:
Not a problem unless disturbed to become airborne.

Usual over-reaction from compensation seekers fuelled by No Wins No fees Lawyers.

One would have to close most pre-70's Public Buildings.
Keep your nose out of a matter you have no knowledge of or understanding about.

There is a lot more to come out than has been published so far.
As a Surveyor, with a wealth of experience in this field and I think I am more qualified than you to comment.

What are your qualifications, please tell?
Perhaps you would like to share your knowledge of what has been going on with the host of school building and refurbishment projects over the past few years in Waltham Forest...and of what's been going on at this particular site.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: Not a problem unless disturbed to become airborne. Usual over-reaction from compensation seekers fuelled by No Wins No fees Lawyers. One would have to close most pre-70's Public Buildings.[/p][/quote]Keep your nose out of a matter you have no knowledge of or understanding about. There is a lot more to come out than has been published so far.[/p][/quote]As a Surveyor, with a wealth of experience in this field and I think I am more qualified than you to comment. What are your qualifications, please tell?[/p][/quote]Perhaps you would like to share your knowledge of what has been going on with the host of school building and refurbishment projects over the past few years in Waltham Forest...and of what's been going on at this particular site. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Tom Thumb says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
Cornbeefur wrote:
Not a problem unless disturbed to become airborne.

Usual over-reaction from compensation seekers fuelled by No Wins No fees Lawyers.

One would have to close most pre-70's Public Buildings.
Keep your nose out of a matter you have no knowledge of or understanding about.

There is a lot more to come out than has been published so far.
As a Surveyor, with a wealth of experience in this field and I think I am more qualified than you to comment.

What are your qualifications, please tell?
As an Astronaut, with considerable experience of alien life forms, I can say conclusively that Cornbeefur is not of our solar system.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: Not a problem unless disturbed to become airborne. Usual over-reaction from compensation seekers fuelled by No Wins No fees Lawyers. One would have to close most pre-70's Public Buildings.[/p][/quote]Keep your nose out of a matter you have no knowledge of or understanding about. There is a lot more to come out than has been published so far.[/p][/quote]As a Surveyor, with a wealth of experience in this field and I think I am more qualified than you to comment. What are your qualifications, please tell?[/p][/quote]As an Astronaut, with considerable experience of alien life forms, I can say conclusively that Cornbeefur is not of our solar system. Tom Thumb
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Helen, Walthamstow says...

I repeat my previous request of you:

"Perhaps you would like to share your knowledge of what has been going on with the host of school building and refurbishment projects over the past few years in Waltham Forest...and of what's been going on at this particular site."
I repeat my previous request of you: "Perhaps you would like to share your knowledge of what has been going on with the host of school building and refurbishment projects over the past few years in Waltham Forest...and of what's been going on at this particular site." Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Ferdy54 says...

Seems to be a bit of scaremongering here.

If its not been disturbed and fibres not floating around to be breathed in then its fine. And I'm sure the kids aren't licking it! Just get some professional asbestos removers in and it will all be cleaned up. Also white asbestos isn't as harmful as brown asbestos.

The house I've moved into has had a corrugated asbestos roof for the last 40 years. I've got no intention of smashing it up so it will probably last another 40 years.
Seems to be a bit of scaremongering here. If its not been disturbed and fibres not floating around to be breathed in then its fine. And I'm sure the kids aren't licking it! Just get some professional asbestos removers in and it will all be cleaned up. Also white asbestos isn't as harmful as brown asbestos. The house I've moved into has had a corrugated asbestos roof for the last 40 years. I've got no intention of smashing it up so it will probably last another 40 years. Ferdy54
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Mon 19 Nov 12

mdj says...

'NPS is part-owned by the council...
..'Cllr Mark Rusling, is listed as a current director, as is council chief executive Martin Esom.

Former directors include council leader Cllr Chris Robbins, Cllr Afzal Akram and Cllr Terry Wheeler, along with former council chief executive Andrew Kilburn.'

Oh no, we're back in the Municipal Twilight Zone, where Council Codes of Conduct don't apply, but public monies are being spent by public servants on goods and services provided by themselves wearing a different hat!
So if Cllr Robbins as 'Strong Leader' is unhappy with the services of NPS, will he sue himself as a Director of that fine company?
What legal advice on conflict of interest was provided by our wise director of legal services, Mr Fenwick?
Has Mr Rusling recovered from the bruises incurred while promoting the Leyton Olympia market, which a fortnight later he claimed was nothing to do with the Council? Will he claim, when this hits the fan, that Mr Fenwick told him everything was OK?
This is yet another public 'partnership' that can best be compared to one between a doctor and and an undertaker.
'NPS is part-owned by the council... ..'Cllr Mark Rusling, is listed as a current director, as is council chief executive Martin Esom. Former directors include council leader Cllr Chris Robbins, Cllr Afzal Akram and Cllr Terry Wheeler, along with former council chief executive Andrew Kilburn.' Oh no, we're back in the Municipal Twilight Zone, where Council Codes of Conduct don't apply, but public monies are being spent by public servants on goods and services provided by themselves wearing a different hat! So if Cllr Robbins as 'Strong Leader' is unhappy with the services of NPS, will he sue himself as a Director of that fine company? What legal advice on conflict of interest was provided by our wise director of legal services, Mr Fenwick? Has Mr Rusling recovered from the bruises incurred while promoting the Leyton Olympia market, which a fortnight later he claimed was nothing to do with the Council? Will he claim, when this hits the fan, that Mr Fenwick told him everything was OK? This is yet another public 'partnership' that can best be compared to one between a doctor and and an undertaker. mdj
  • Score: 0

6:57pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Dave mp says...

The Guardian should hold a 'Prat of The Year' award to the stupidest person who comments on there pages. My nominee wouldn't be Cornbeefur but one of the mindless idiots who continually make remarks on his comments. Everyone is entitled to a view, leave it at that and move on, instead of ruining the thread of a story by making childish comments.
Unless all these people are the same person having an argument with themselves?
The Guardian should hold a 'Prat of The Year' award to the stupidest person who comments on there pages. My nominee wouldn't be Cornbeefur but one of the mindless idiots who continually make remarks on his comments. Everyone is entitled to a view, leave it at that and move on, instead of ruining the thread of a story by making childish comments. Unless all these people are the same person having an argument with themselves? Dave mp
  • Score: 0

12:28am Tue 20 Nov 12

mdj says...

Also, one can't help wondering, 'Why Norfolk?'
Is it because of the unconscious word associations, such as 'Normal for Norfolk,' or 'Norfolk, 'n Good?'
Also, one can't help wondering, 'Why Norfolk?' Is it because of the unconscious word associations, such as 'Normal for Norfolk,' or 'Norfolk, 'n Good?' mdj
  • Score: 0

8:34am Tue 20 Nov 12

Helen, Walthamstow says...

The real key point the local authority and NPS have to answer in all this is why, when the builders restarted work this year, they did not know that the building was riddled with asbestos, properly sealed or otherwise.

Schools is Waltham Forest have been regularly checked for asbestos for many years. In the ones I've had involvement with, we have known precisely where there was safely sealed asbestos for 20 years at least and it was checked regularly by experts. As developments took place, it was safely removed.

So what happened in this building which was known to have gone up in a period where asbestos was commonly used in construction, has been occupied by three schools (all of which presumably carried out some remodelling), and where the first tranche of the latest refurbishment was carried out last year?

Note that the story above says: 'A copy of an initial August 2012 report into asbestos at the school reveals a refurbishment and demolition research by Redhill in 2011 warned that further investigation may be required to check for asbestos.
But it adds that it is "unknown whether this report was read in its entirety".

Not read in its entirety!!! An important report prepared for the council was not read in its entirety. Not read by whom? Was it ignored? Did alarm bells not ring even before the first classes moved in?

In light of the LA/s apparent ignorance about the state of the building, it is quite right that a further report is prepared into who might some construction workers who it is said had a "high probability" of exposure.

To write off the latest investigation as a result of the blame and claim culture is irresponsible. We all truly hope no children, staff or other workers on the site have been exposed to airborne fibres, bit if they have, the level of risk must be made known.
The real key point the local authority and NPS have to answer in all this is why, when the builders restarted work this year, they did not know that the building was riddled with asbestos, properly sealed or otherwise. Schools is Waltham Forest have been regularly checked for asbestos for many years. In the ones I've had involvement with, we have known precisely where there was safely sealed asbestos for 20 years at least and it was checked regularly by experts. As developments took place, it was safely removed. So what happened in this building which was known to have gone up in a period where asbestos was commonly used in construction, has been occupied by three schools (all of which presumably carried out some remodelling), and where the first tranche of the latest refurbishment was carried out last year? Note that the story above says: 'A copy of an initial August 2012 report into asbestos at the school reveals a refurbishment and demolition research by Redhill in 2011 warned that further investigation may be required to check for asbestos. But it adds that it is "unknown whether this report was read in its entirety". Not read in its entirety!!! An important report prepared for the council was not read in its entirety. Not read by whom? Was it ignored? Did alarm bells not ring even before the first classes moved in? In light of the LA/s apparent ignorance about the state of the building, it is quite right that a further report is prepared into who might some construction workers who it is said had a "high probability" of exposure. To write off the latest investigation as a result of the blame and claim culture is irresponsible. We all truly hope no children, staff or other workers on the site have been exposed to airborne fibres, bit if they have, the level of risk must be made known. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

8:40am Tue 20 Nov 12

NT says...

I take the point about scaremongering, and fully recognise that each situation where asbestos is found needs to be evaluated carefully and in its own terms.

But, currently, the news is not good. In January 2012, at the Town Hall,

• High Hazard Material’ was discovered in 49 of the 62 samples taken, i.e. 79%;

• In 36 or 73% of these 49 cases the sampled material was dust, debris, or residue (in other words, the asbestos was unsealed); and

• in terms of total assessment analysis (which aggregates the risk from the asbestos type and prevalence, likelihood of disturbance, normal occupant activity, etc.), of the 53 samples scored, 11 (21%) were Risk Band A (‘High Risk Material Requiring Urgent Attention’), and 31 (58%) were in Risk Band B (‘Medium Risk Material Requiring Near Term Attention’).

A particularly worrying aspect is that asbestos was strongly presumed to be present in the cash office, which was used by many staff and members of the public.

At Brooke Rd, the NPS London Ltd. report concludes ‘Operatives of Mansell Construction and their sub-contractors carrying out physical disturbance (demolition) on site…are considered to have a high probability of disturbing the asbestos materials’. It also documents significant failures in terms of documentation. Regrettably, however, little is said about the type and form of asbestos present.

There is also the legal position. LBWF has an obligation to log asbestos in its buildings, and complete management plans in each case. It remains to be established whether this obligation has been satisfied. And that is precisely why the Health and Safety Executive are right now investigating compliance with asbestos legislation ‘not only at the Town Hall but at all other locations controlled by the Council’.
I take the point about scaremongering, and fully recognise that each situation where asbestos is found needs to be evaluated carefully and in its own terms. But, currently, the news is not good. In January 2012, at the Town Hall, • High Hazard Material’ was discovered in 49 of the 62 samples taken, i.e. 79%; • In 36 or 73% of these 49 cases the sampled material was dust, debris, or residue (in other words, the asbestos was unsealed); and • in terms of total assessment analysis (which aggregates the risk from the asbestos type and prevalence, likelihood of disturbance, normal occupant activity, etc.), of the 53 samples scored, 11 (21%) were Risk Band A (‘High Risk Material Requiring Urgent Attention’), and 31 (58%) were in Risk Band B (‘Medium Risk Material Requiring Near Term Attention’). A particularly worrying aspect is that asbestos was strongly presumed to be present in the cash office, which was used by many staff and members of the public. At Brooke Rd, the NPS London Ltd. report concludes ‘Operatives of Mansell Construction and their sub-contractors carrying out physical disturbance (demolition) on site…are considered to have a high probability of disturbing the asbestos materials’. It also documents significant failures in terms of documentation. Regrettably, however, little is said about the type and form of asbestos present. There is also the legal position. LBWF has an obligation to log asbestos in its buildings, and complete management plans in each case. It remains to be established whether this obligation has been satisfied. And that is precisely why the Health and Safety Executive are right now investigating compliance with asbestos legislation ‘not only at the Town Hall but at all other locations controlled by the Council’. NT
  • Score: 0

8:45am Tue 20 Nov 12

NT says...

PS It is also a fact that LBWF has a rather unhappy record over asbestos, see for example:

http://www.guardian-
series.co.uk/news/wf
news/8331074.WALTHAM
_FOREST__Union_slams
_council_over_safety
_rap/



www.guardian-series.
co.uk/news/9501512.W
ALTHAMSTOW__Resident
s_angry_after_asbest
os_find/



http://www.hsconsult
ancy.com/news/brown-
asbestos-discovered-
in-council-building-
844.html ( this is dated by Google to 24 June 2008)



localgovernmentlawye
r.co.uk/index.php?op
tion=com_content&vie
w=article&id=4403:hs
e-issues-enforcement
-notices-against-10-
councils-over-school
-asbestos&catid=54:c
hildrens-services-ar
ticles
PS It is also a fact that LBWF has a rather unhappy record over asbestos, see for example: http://www.guardian- series.co.uk/news/wf news/8331074.WALTHAM _FOREST__Union_slams _council_over_safety _rap/ www.guardian-series. co.uk/news/9501512.W ALTHAMSTOW__Resident s_angry_after_asbest os_find/ http://www.hsconsult ancy.com/news/brown- asbestos-discovered- in-council-building- 844.html ( this is dated by Google to 24 June 2008) localgovernmentlawye r.co.uk/index.php?op tion=com_content&vie w=article&id=4403:hs e-issues-enforcement -notices-against-10- councils-over-school -asbestos&catid=54:c hildrens-services-ar ticles NT
  • Score: 0

9:45am Tue 20 Nov 12

Antonk says...

Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
The real key point the local authority and NPS have to answer in all this is why, when the builders restarted work this year, they did not know that the building was riddled with asbestos, properly sealed or otherwise.

Schools is Waltham Forest have been regularly checked for asbestos for many years. In the ones I've had involvement with, we have known precisely where there was safely sealed asbestos for 20 years at least and it was checked regularly by experts. As developments took place, it was safely removed.

So what happened in this building which was known to have gone up in a period where asbestos was commonly used in construction, has been occupied by three schools (all of which presumably carried out some remodelling), and where the first tranche of the latest refurbishment was carried out last year?

Note that the story above says: 'A copy of an initial August 2012 report into asbestos at the school reveals a refurbishment and demolition research by Redhill in 2011 warned that further investigation may be required to check for asbestos.
But it adds that it is "unknown whether this report was read in its entirety".

Not read in its entirety!!! An important report prepared for the council was not read in its entirety. Not read by whom? Was it ignored? Did alarm bells not ring even before the first classes moved in?

In light of the LA/s apparent ignorance about the state of the building, it is quite right that a further report is prepared into who might some construction workers who it is said had a "high probability" of exposure.

To write off the latest investigation as a result of the blame and claim culture is irresponsible. We all truly hope no children, staff or other workers on the site have been exposed to airborne fibres, bit if they have, the level of risk must be made known.
If you read that report you will also learn that there were 2 asbestos surveys in 2011 and one back in 2007 and what is also worth noting is that only one of these was provided to AEC Ltd for their assessment, are the others stuck in the basement of the Town Hall? Too damning to read?

So it was common knowledge to all that asbestos existed in the building yet not only did they fail to carry out an asbestos survey for recent works they also chose to ignore historical data.

I have friends that children attended the school whilst work was being carried out, they are rightfully very concerned as are the teachers and staff of the school yet LBWF continue to close ranks and spin positives that in other circumstances would be laughable.
[quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: The real key point the local authority and NPS have to answer in all this is why, when the builders restarted work this year, they did not know that the building was riddled with asbestos, properly sealed or otherwise. Schools is Waltham Forest have been regularly checked for asbestos for many years. In the ones I've had involvement with, we have known precisely where there was safely sealed asbestos for 20 years at least and it was checked regularly by experts. As developments took place, it was safely removed. So what happened in this building which was known to have gone up in a period where asbestos was commonly used in construction, has been occupied by three schools (all of which presumably carried out some remodelling), and where the first tranche of the latest refurbishment was carried out last year? Note that the story above says: 'A copy of an initial August 2012 report into asbestos at the school reveals a refurbishment and demolition research by Redhill in 2011 warned that further investigation may be required to check for asbestos. But it adds that it is "unknown whether this report was read in its entirety". Not read in its entirety!!! An important report prepared for the council was not read in its entirety. Not read by whom? Was it ignored? Did alarm bells not ring even before the first classes moved in? In light of the LA/s apparent ignorance about the state of the building, it is quite right that a further report is prepared into who might some construction workers who it is said had a "high probability" of exposure. To write off the latest investigation as a result of the blame and claim culture is irresponsible. We all truly hope no children, staff or other workers on the site have been exposed to airborne fibres, bit if they have, the level of risk must be made known.[/p][/quote]If you read that report you will also learn that there were 2 asbestos surveys in 2011 and one back in 2007 and what is also worth noting is that only one of these was provided to AEC Ltd for their assessment, are the others stuck in the basement of the Town Hall? Too damning to read? So it was common knowledge to all that asbestos existed in the building yet not only did they fail to carry out an asbestos survey for recent works they also chose to ignore historical data. I have friends that children attended the school whilst work was being carried out, they are rightfully very concerned as are the teachers and staff of the school yet LBWF continue to close ranks and spin positives that in other circumstances would be laughable. Antonk
  • Score: 0

10:22am Tue 20 Nov 12

NT says...

Antonk: you are of course spot on.

However, I don't think the Council can play the 'town hall basement' card in this instance, because looking through the list of files that were supposed to be stored there - albeit a list supplied by LBWF - there are none that (at least ostensibly) deal with asbestos.

I hesitate to offer advice, but I think the parents should be formally involved in the new investigation - co-authoring the terms of reference (not least to ensure its a truly independent effort, not a stitch-up) and playing a full role on the investigation's steering group. Only absolute transparency will do. And of course Don't Give Up's points above are also crucial.
Antonk: you are of course spot on. However, I don't think the Council can play the 'town hall basement' card in this instance, because looking through the list of files that were supposed to be stored there - albeit a list supplied by LBWF - there are none that (at least ostensibly) deal with asbestos. I hesitate to offer advice, but I think the parents should be formally involved in the new investigation - co-authoring the terms of reference (not least to ensure its a truly independent effort, not a stitch-up) and playing a full role on the investigation's steering group. Only absolute transparency will do. And of course Don't Give Up's points above are also crucial. NT
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Tue 20 Nov 12

mdj says...

' An important report prepared for the council was not read in its entirety. Not read by whom? Was it ignored?'

Helen, you're looking for individual responsibility in a culture where the very concept is a dirty word.

To an outsider it might seem obvious that every plan for action approved by the Council would say at the bottom: 'The official and Cabinet member responsible for implementation, reporting back, and accounting for expenditure on this decision are...'.
Even when it's clear who's responsible, they simply don't answer your letters.
' An important report prepared for the council was not read in its entirety. Not read by whom? Was it ignored?' Helen, you're looking for individual responsibility in a culture where the very concept is a dirty word. To an outsider it might seem obvious that every plan for action approved by the Council would say at the bottom: 'The official and Cabinet member responsible for implementation, reporting back, and accounting for expenditure on this decision are...'. Even when it's clear who's responsible, they simply don't answer your letters. mdj
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Tue 20 Nov 12

NT says...

Fair comment, MDJ, but lets not forget the fact that portfolio holders get considerably enhanced allowances for taking responsibility in specific areas.

The portfolio holders for children and young people since 2010 have been Liquat Ali, Saima Mahmud, Marie Pye, and Claire Coghill.

Perhaps its time for each of them to step forward and state what they did or did not read?
Fair comment, MDJ, but lets not forget the fact that portfolio holders get considerably enhanced allowances for taking responsibility in specific areas. The portfolio holders for children and young people since 2010 have been Liquat Ali, Saima Mahmud, Marie Pye, and Claire Coghill. Perhaps its time for each of them to step forward and state what they did or did not read? NT
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Antonk says...

I would like to see some of the department heads within LBWF shamed over this, the councillors may change but the general incompetence and culture within the council remain. The sooner they realise that they are public servants accountable to residents of the borough the better. At present one could assume that we are regarded as mere serfs tending their fields that they try to keep happy with positive council propaganda and the occasional funfair.
I would like to see some of the department heads within LBWF shamed over this, the councillors may change but the general incompetence and culture within the council remain. The sooner they realise that they are public servants accountable to residents of the borough the better. At present one could assume that we are regarded as mere serfs tending their fields that they try to keep happy with positive council propaganda and the occasional funfair. Antonk
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Sam Hain says...

I think the Romans called it 'panem et circenses', Antonk. I also think the concept of shame is alien to many senior officers of this council.
I think the Romans called it 'panem et circenses', Antonk. I also think the concept of shame is alien to many senior officers of this council. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

12:28am Thu 22 Nov 12

mdj says...

The NPS site tells us:

"We carry out a range of property services for the London Borough of Waltham Forest under a joint venture agreement. Their level of satisfaction with the services we provide led to LBWF recommending us to their local NHS Primary Care Trust (PCT)."
...chaired by Councillor Akram, sometime director of NPS. Nothing to worry about there, then.
The NPS site tells us: "We carry out a range of property services for the London Borough of Waltham Forest under a joint venture agreement. Their level of satisfaction with the services we provide led to LBWF recommending us to their local NHS Primary Care Trust (PCT)." ...chaired by Councillor Akram, sometime director of NPS. Nothing to worry about there, then. mdj
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